Storm Bill loses steam in North Atlantic

Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:25am EDT
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By John McCrank

ST JOHN'S, Newfoundland (Reuters) - Hurricane Bill weakened to post-tropical storm status on Monday after lashing Eastern Canada with heavy winds and rain and pounding the U.S. East Coast with heavy seas that killed two people.

The storm is expected to gradually peter out as it moves through the cold waters in the oil-producing region of the North Atlantic.

A seven-year-old girl died in a hospital late Sunday after she was pulled unresponsive from the sea by the Coast Guard after a group of people were swept away by a huge wave along the coast of Maine, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

The group had been watching the rough seas and heavy surf from Maine's Acadia National Park, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Third Class James Rhodes.

Environment Canada said on Monday Bill had been downgraded to tropical storm status after drenching Newfoundland, the country's easternmost province.

Atlantic Canada is an energy-producing region, exporting oil, natural gas and refined products to the U.S. Northeast and elsewhere.

Power was being restored to some of the 40,000 homes and businesses that had their power knocked out by the storm in southern Nova Scotia. The storm felled trees but did little serious damage to the provincial capital of Halifax.

No deaths or injuries have been reported in Canada.   Continued...

<p>A man videotapes the storm surge created by Hurricane Bill in Cow Bay, Nova Scotia, August 23, 2009. REUTERS/Paul Darrow</p>